●India’s Assisted New Supreme Court Building of Mauritius
•Prime Minister of India and the Prime Minister of Mauritius will jointly inaugurate the new Supreme Court building of Mauritius on 30th July, 2020.
•It will be the first India assisted infrastructure project within the capital city of Port Louis, Mauritius.
•It is one of the five projects being implemented under the ‘Special Economic Package’ of 353 million USD extended by the Government of India to Mauritius in 2016
•More than 68% of the Mauritian population are of Indian origin, most commonly known as Indo-Mauritians.
•Indo-Mauritian relations refers to the historical, political, economic, military, social and cultural connections between the two countries.
•Connections between India and Mauritius date back to 1730 and diplomatic relations were established in 1948 before Mauritius became an independent state (1968).
India has viewed Mauritius through the prism of diaspora.
•This was, perhaps, natural since communities of Indian origin constitute a significant majority in the island.
•It is a significant partner of India in celebrating Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas which is a forum for issues concerning the Indian Diaspora.
•India has begun to see the strategic significance of Mauritius to the renewed great power contestation in the Indian Ocean.
•In 2015, India signed an agreement to set up eight Indian-controlled coastal surveillance radar stations.
•Mauritius is part of India’s security grid including Coastal Surveillance Radar (CSR) station of Indian Navy’s National Command Control Communication Intelligence network.
•In 2015 India unveiled an ambitious policy called the SAGAR (security and growth for all).
•It was India’s first significant policy statement on the Indian Ocean in many decades.
•Through SAGAR, India seeks to deepen economic and security cooperation with its maritime neighbours and assist in building their maritime security capabilities.
•In 2015, India and Mauritius signed an agreement that allows India to develop infrastructure in terms of establishing military bases on the Mauritian islands.
•The agreement covers within its purview our shared efforts in anti-piracy operations, and enhanced Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) surveillance to prevent intrusions by potential economic offenders including those indulging in illegal fishing, poaching, drug and human trafficking.
•Until now India has tended to deal with the so-called Vanilla islands of the south western Indian Ocean — Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, Reunion and Seychelles — on a bilateral basis.
•If the Indian establishment thinks of them as a collective, it could make Mauritius the pivot of Delhi’s island policy.
•It can facilitate a number of Indian commercial activities in the south western Indian ocean — as a banking gateway and hub for tourism.
`Keeping Pace with China: In its “string of pearls” policy, China has built significant relations across the Indian Ocean, from Gwadar (Pakistan) to Hambantota (Sri Lanka) to Kyaukpyu (Myanmar).
•Therefore, India should help Indian Ocean littoral states like Mauritius, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Seychelles as part of capacity and capability enhancement in strengthening their maritime domain awareness capabilities.
•Mauritius being an island nation, has been physically cut off from the rest of the world despite the fact anything that happens in the world affects Mauritius e.g, world economic crisis, declining FDIs, trade wars etc.
•Therefore,it is important for India to broaden its perspective beyond just the maritime security of IOR.